Poor Jesse Lee.
Before last week, he was just an earnest, “progressive” blogger. (That’s their latest handle of choice having totally ruined previous ones such as “liberal,” “Democrat,” “socialist,” and “control freak.”)
Jesse was a fairly anonymous fellow blogging from the bowels of the White House campus (he’s its “director of progressive media”), trying to fan any flames of imaginary optimism he could find out there about the Obamacare tax-fraud scheme that is now upon us.
It is probably fair to say nobody had ever heard of the guy outside of his cocooned little Twitterverse of journalists and bloggers who follow his utterances for strained happy talk about President Obama and his signature health care law.
That is, until last Friday when Jesse Lee strayed from his comfort zone of spotting unicorns dancing under rainbows to talking about taxes and how they are paid by the people who build small businesses in America.
From there, things got deep for Jesse Lee. Fast.
Jesse Lee took grave exception to the announcement by one such business builder — you might have heard of him; his name is Matt Drudge — that he had “just paid Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered.’ I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!”
Nothing enrages the control freak socialist — “progressive,” if you will — more than a self-sufficient citizen enjoying “liberty” outside the realm of his control. If “liberty” can be had outside the iron fist of government, then what more subversive freedoms might these citizens also yearn for?
“Flat lie,” an enflamed Jesse Lee spat.
Not that anyone still accuses this White House of being pro-business, but my goodness. A successful American entrepreneur pays his taxes, grumbles about it in a good-natured way, and the White House responds by branding him a liar?
When did the “You didn’t build that” White House become the “You will pay your taxes and like it and if you complain we will personally smear you as a liar” White House?
Then came the verdict of the entire universe of liberal tax experts — by which I mean people who love for others to pay taxes but get real quiet when the plate comes around in church.
“Penalty isn’t collected until 2015,” ruled one breathless Twitterer.
“Americans don’t pay a penalty for not having health insurance until they file their 2014 taxes — in 2015,” zinged another liberal blogger, who announced the tax-paying American entrepreneur was either “lying or paid a huge penalty a year earlier than he needed to.”
“Probably lying,” was this tax expert’s conclusion.
Of course, as any business owner knows or as anyone who is self-employed knows, the taxes you owe in 2015 must be paid quarterly in 2014. And there is no quarter of the year that is more vicious than April, when you must stroke one check to pay your first quarter taxes of the current year and stroke a second check to pay any final taxes you still owe for the previous year.
The whole sad fracas lays bare one of the greatest truths about the American tax system. If there were not this system for withholding taxes so that employees — even “progressive bloggers” like Jesse Lee — had to write a check every quarter to pay his taxes, then taxes everywhere would be a whole lot lower.
And the government, especially the federal government, would waste a whole lot less of your money on useless bureaucrats and bridges to nowhere.
The only downside, at least for Jesse Lee, is that he would be unemployed.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @charleshurt.